The Orrocks have had a great deal of property stolen and their house is simply wrecked, not a whole panel in any door. The navy men seem to have run amok. It would have been much better had it been burned. Doubtless Lord Leverhulme will see to his agent’s better housing when he comes… Stornoway, 6th March. 1918

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 6th March 1918

This week, Mrs Gibson writes to Jean regarding further news of the Stornoway fire. One of the residents of the building unfortunately had some furniture stolen, and potentially misplaced some of Lady Matheson’s jewels. The weather continues to be extremely cold in Stornoway. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Dear Sheann,

We see from your p.c. received this morning that your mump remains the same. We hope to hear soon that it is less.

Meantime we are much gratified at hearing from you daily. Good lil’ Sheann!

Papa beamed over your osteology mark. You maun be gran at the banes. He is off just now to the school literary Society. He is very hard wrought these days and school is not so comfortable as it ought to be – still no fires in Francis St.

Barrie and I were out gardening this afternoon but it was too cold for him and he seized the first opportunity to bunk inside.

Mr. Orrock has been very much upset by the fire. It seems he had some of Lady Matheson’s jewels – certain curtailed ones – in a strong room at his office. For safety he took them out and gave them to Mary to take to a safe place and when the fire was over she had no idea where they were. She had done better than she knew for she had taken them to Ossian Robertson to put in the bank safe. She had no recollection of having done so. The Orrocks have had a great deal of property stolen and their house is simply wrecked, not a whole panel in any door. The navy men seem to have run amok. It would have been much better had it been burned. Doubtless Lord Leverhulme will see to his agent’s better housing when he comes.

Maud’s Ma sent down again for coal last night, and the weather so cold too!

Much love to Sheann, from her Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L37

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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